Democracy assistance organizations have been established worldwide since the beginning of the twentieth century, striving to create a fertile international environment that nurtures the spread of both democracy and human rights. Taiwan is now ready to join this growing community. The establishment of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) marks a milestone in Taiwan's democratization process, while it also inaugurates a new networking channel with the international community.
Through the establishment of the Foundation we disseminate an important message: Taiwan is determined to contribute to the flourishing of democracy in the Asia-Pacific region as well as to the aspirations of the global democratic community. With the new international connections created, we will learn from the experiences of the world's advanced democracies and improve upon our own efforts; soon, we will also serve as a platform through which Taiwan may share its experiences with other aspiring democracies.
Because of its weighty mission, the Foundation shoulders heavy responsibilities. Its founding spirit and vision will help consolidate Taiwan's democratic achievements, and its establishment creates a new and significant link in the international network of democratic institutions. I, as chairman of the TFD, along with the Foundation's board members, supervisors, president, and staff, will resolutely do our best to fulfill the TFD's vision and mission.
Vice Chairman：David Y.L. Lin
President ：Huang, Teh-Fu
Following the Third Wave of democratization in the late twentieth century, democracy has become a universal value in the international community. In order to create an environment facilitating the development of democracy, the advanced democracies have developed various international networks and civil organizations to promote democratic values and practices and to build solidarity among democratic forces. Through these mechanisms, they have undertaken to assist developing countries with their democratic transitions. After two successful transfers of power, the democratic achievements of Taiwan have been widely recognized by the international community. Taiwan’s democratization is not only an important milestone in the global democratic movement; it has also opened a vital avenue of dialogue between Taiwan and the world.
The basic aim of the establishment of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) is to connect Taiwan with these democratic forces, institutions, and networks. Through sharing our experiences as well as our beliefs in democracy, the TFD will absorb the practical experiences of advanced democracies, and carry our share of the collective responsibility for protecting universal democratic values, in order to continue the momentum of the Third Wave. At the same time, the TFD will also continue to work to improve the quality of democracy in Taiwan. Through active participation in global democracy networks, we hope to gain greater understanding and support from the international democratic community.
The successful experience of democratization in Taiwan is not only the triumph of our twenty-three million people but also a valuable asset for global democracy. The TFD will focus its efforts to apply effectively the lessons of Taiwan’s democratic development, collaborating with all elements of the international democratic movement, including academia, think-tanks, parliaments, political parties, and NGOs. We seek to form stable partnerships as well as a close support network that actively promotes global democratic development.
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